The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq eased on Friday after Google
The latest batch of results highlighted how mixed the quarter's earnings season has been, with just 72 S&P 500 companies reporting so far.
IBM and other technology names lifted the Dow a day after IBM offered a strong outlook and results from several big-tech names signaled they were shaking off nervousness about economic growth and boosting technology spending. IBM rose 4.5 percent to $188.70.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 74.36 points, or 0.59 percent, at 12,698.36. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 1.74 points, or 0.13 percent, at 1,312.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 7.18 points, or 0.26 percent, at 2,781.15.
Whether earnings are robust or not, investors may decide to take the market higher, said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
My view is the market wants to move higher if it can get the news to get that kick, he said. Managers are looking toward the positive side.
The S&P 500 was on track for a gain of 1.8 percent for the week.
General Electric Co
Microsoft said earnings fell slightly, while Intel shook up its executive suite and named a new chief operating officer as its profits topped scaled-back estimates. IBM, Microsoft and Intel are all Dow components, along with GE and AmEx.
Investors also kept an eye on Greece, where a bond-swap deal between the fiscally strapped country and its private bondholders appeared to be close, according to sources. An agreement was deemed possible by late Friday. Creditors could lose up to 70 percent of the loans given to the fiscally troubled nation.
Hopes are an agreement would prevent the nation from spiraling into bankruptcy and bring some stability to the debt-strained euro zone.
Improving economic data in the United States along with signs of European stability have helped push the S&P 500 up 4.2 percent to start the year.
(Reporting By Caroline Valetkevitch; Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Jan Paschal)